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£200,000 fine for rogue landlord's 'bed in shed'

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£200,000 fine for rogue landlord's 'bed in shed'

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Legal, Local Government

200,000 fine for rogue landlord's 'bed in shed' 200,000 fine for rogue landlord's 'bed in shed'

A rogue landlord has been ordered to pay more than £200,000 - or go to prison.

Michael Aslam, of Reading, was sentenced this week at Isleworth Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to two offences of breaching planning enforcement notices.

Aslam had been ordered by council officers to demolish an outbuilding at the rear of a property he owns in Sipson, which had been occupied and used as a ‘bed in shed’.

He had also been illegally using the house and neighbouring property as a hotel without permission, and had been ordered to stop. He failed to comply on both counts and continued to gain financially from rental income.

At the sentencing and confiscation hearing Aslam was fined £7,500 for each of the two offences of breaching planning enforcement notices - a total of £15,000 to be paid within 6 months, or to serve 12 months imprisonment in default.

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, the judge ordered that Aslam must pay back £170,000 in full within six months, or serve 30 months imprisonment in default.

This is to be divided between the council, HM Treasury and the Courts and Tribunals Service.

Aslam was furthered ordered to pay the council’s legal costs in the sum of £17,676 within six months.

As the hearing concluded, Judge HHJ McDowall said: “I must give credit to the council officers who have done an excellent job in seeing that the law is complied with.”

Councillor Keith Burrows said: “This is a great courtroom victory for the council and I am delighted that the judge has recognised how much work and effort has gone into this case. It is totally unacceptable for rogue landlords to line their pockets with ill-gotten gains and allow families to live in poor conditions.

"I hope this sends out a clear message that Hillingdon Council does not tolerate this behaviour and we will take action against those who do not comply with planning laws.”

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